In the quaint town of Weston, the ring of a bell and the squeak of a floorboard let you know you're about to experience the Vermont Country Store.
"The stores are the heart and soul of the business," owner Lyman Orton said.
With 15,000 square feet of unique, hard-to-find products, this could be the final resting place of the phrase "back in my day." Whether it's some Vim & Vigor you're looking for or just some penny candy, the Vermont Country Store has it, and it has had it for the past 66 years.
Reporter Gina Bullard: This store brings back a lot of memories for you.
Lyman Orton: This store is memories. I was 5 years old when my father and mother started the store in 1946.
The business has changed over the years but one thing remains the same-- it's still a family affair. Gardner, Cabot and Eliot, Lyman's sons or boys as he likes to call them, have all grown up in the business.
"With fathers and sons you can be going along working and then the whole thing can blow up into some eruption like when they were 14," Lyman said.
The Vermont Country Store started as a 12-page, 36-item catalog. It now has thousands of products and 500 employees. Sales hit $100 million last year; 10 percent of that is driven from its two retail locations in Weston and Rockingham, the rest comes from catalogue and online sales.
"It's all about the products, it's all about merchandise," Lyman said.
With more than 1 million customers a year from all over the world, it looks like the merchandising and business model is working. Wednesday the store hosted a group of reporters from the United Kingdom. They're travel writers looking for unique destinations, like the Vermont Country Store.
"Customers come from all over and they come, we think, to get a slice of a simpler time, stepping back to when things were simpler in a way; when things just worked," Eliot said.
There are changes at the Vermont Country Store. CEO Bill Shouldice is stepping down after seven years on the job. One of his main responsibilities was to prepare the third generation of Orton boys to run the business.
"We all have the same goal in mind and that's what binds us together. This is a family legacy for us. We see us passing it on to our kids," Eliot said.
A third generation of Vermonters still beating the odds in the business world.
The Orton boys say that there always is the possibility of a third store and they hope to open it before their kids take over.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 11:22 PM EDT2013-05-22 03:22:19 GMT
Residents in Sheffield say the news that three men have admitted to killing Pat O'Hagan in 2010 came as a shock, but it's information they thought would have come sooner. "A certain measure of reliefMore >>
Residents in Sheffield say the news that three men have admitted to killing Pat O'Hagan in 2010 came as a shock, but it's information they thought would have come sooner.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:00 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:00:26 GMT
"It's right up there the top of the list of frustrating cases," said Bill Sorrell, D-Vt. Attorney General. Investigators say they've had three suspects in Pat O'Hagan's death since shortly after the Sheffield grandmotherMore >>
Federal court filings show the state may never charge the suspects in the murder of a Vt. grandmother, because there is not enough evidence. But the state's top prosecutor says convicting Pat O'Hagan's killers is still a top priority.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 4:50 PM EDT2013-05-21 20:50:11 GMT
A St. Albans teen will spend at least a couple of years behind bars for a DUI accident that killed his passenger. James Companion, 17, changed his plea to guilty Tuesday. Companion told investigators heMore >>
A St. Albans teen will spend at least a couple of years behind bars for a DUI accident that killed his passenger.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:32 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:32:20 GMT
A former animal control officer charged with two counts of prohibited acts was arraigned Tuesday morning. Gary Francis is accused of asking two women to show him their breasts for money. Francis pleadedMore >>
A former animal control officer was in court Tuesday, charged with soliciting women to expose themselves.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:48:12 GMT
A pair of siblings pleaded innocent to a string of burglaries in Rutland that police say funded their heroin addiction. Todd Miller, 28, and his sister Amanda Miller, 30, pleaded not guilty. The pair isMore >>
A pair of siblings pleaded innocent to a string of burglaries in Rutland that police say funded their heroin addiction.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:03 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:03:49 GMT
A Middlebury man has pleaded not guilty to federal arson charges stemming from a fire at a Pittsford car dealership back in July 2011. Police said they found 29-year-old Steven Browne behind the wheelMore >>
A Middlebury man has pleaded not guilty to federal arson charges stemming from a fire at a Pittsford car dealership back in July 2011.More >>